A look ahead at this weekend’s games in the Premier League. Last weekend I went 7 out of 10, bringing my season record to 42 out of 56 or 75%.
Bolton v Tottenham
Tottenham have shown already this season that why they cannot quite compete with the big four, they are more than capable of beating the poorer teams in the Premier League. And Bolton certainly falls into that category. I can see nothing but a Spurs win here.
Burnley v Birmingham
Last week was a tough week for Burnley with the defeat at Barnsley in the Carling Cup and the hammering at Spurs. Now they get a fellow relegation struggler at home, and this is the kind of game that Burnley needs to win if they are to avoid the relegation battle. Birmingham had a heart-breaking loss at home to Bolton last week and they will be hoping for a point at Turf Moor. But Burnley has won every game they have played at Turf Moor this season and I expect that streak to continue
Prediction: 2-1 Burnley
Hull v Wigan
The next four games will decide whether Phil Brown still has a job come Halloween. Last week at Liverpool, Hull’s back four was terrible and I expect Wigan to give them all sort of problems. Wigan’s win over Chelsea last week was fantastic, but this is a more important game as this is the kind of game that they are expected to win. I am not sure if Wigan can handle the expectations of being favorites and I am looking for both teams to share the points here.
Wolves v Portsmouth
It has been another tough week off the field for Portsmouth and on the field is team really struggling. If Portsmouth is to start to turn around its season around, this is the type of game they need to get points for. Wolves, on the other hand, were a little unlucky losing 5-2 at Sunderland last week. I am looking for a draw her which will please Pompey more than Wolves.
Manchester United v Sunderland
It will be interesting to see Steve Bruce’s approach at Old Trafford. His two big forwards, Kenwyne Jones and Darren Bent, would cause Rio and Vidic all sorts of trouble, but I don’t expect Bruce to be that aggressive. He will go with one up front which will help United, who are on a nice winning streak since losing to Burnley earlier in the season. I see nothing but a home victory here.
Arsenal v Blackburn
After a really tough run of games to start the season, Arsenal is now in the easier part of their schedule and they are much too strong throughout the park for Blackburn. This is my lock of the week game.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-0
Everton v Stoke
After a slow start to the season, Everton are starting to hit top form, and they would usually be favorites to beat Stoke comfortably at home here. My concern here is the long trip in the Europa League on Thursday and I wondered if they will be a little tired and flat on Sunday
Verdict: 1-1 draw
West Ham v Fulham
West Ham has struggled this season but this is the game they turn it around. Fulham so far this season have been terrible the weekend after playing a midweek Europa League game and I expect that streak to continue here as the Hammers get a much needed home win.
Prediction: West Ham 2-1
Chelsea v Liverpool
This is a huge game for both teams. This is the first big test for both teams this season and both teams have questions. Chelsea has been winning without playing well this season, and they will be without Petr Cech. Liverpool got hammered in midweek in the Champions League and it will be really interesting to see how they respond after that bad loss. With some many questions about both teams I am looking for a draw here, a result that will not displease both managers.
Prediction: 1-1 draw
Aston Villa v Manchester City
I am not sure what to make of Aston Villa this season. They have not played well this season and they are still struggling to get over the loss of Barry. Manchester City on the other hand is playing with a swagger of a confident team. They are still not the finished product, but they are getting close and I am looking for them to grab all three points at Villa Park here.
Prediction: Manchester City 2-1